After three Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lost an argument that they were entrapped, a trial for Joseph Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar was scheduled to begin on Sept. 12. Jackson County Judge Thomas Wilson on Tuesday denied a motion claiming the trio were entrapped by the FBI, MLive reports. “I just cannot, in reviewing this matter, (decide) that it was the government that somehow pressured any one of these individuals to participate in anything, or to get in line with this way of thinking,” Wilson said.
Morrison and Musico, cofounders of the Wolverine Watchmen militia group, are accused of providing materials and assistance to group members by conducting tactical training. The pair are charged with one felony count each of gang membership, providing material support for terrorist acts and felony firearms. Bellar, a group member is charged with one felony count each of providing materials to support terrorist acts, attempt to commit felony as an associate or member of gang and felony firearms. The three are among several men with affiliations to the Wolverine Watchmen who were accused of plotting to kill police officers, attack the state Capitol in Lansing, abduct Whitmer and commit other violence. The FBI began its investigation of the group after reviewing social media conversations that included discussion of the “violent overthrow” of government and attacks on law enforcement. Charges were brought about in October 2020. In court, attorneys questioned “Dan” -- a paid informant who infiltrated the Wolverine Watchmen -- and his handler, FBI agent Henrik Impola. Defense attorneys argued that Impola and Dan entrapped their clients by encouraging and escalating their anti-government behavior.